It looks like PepsiCo, the parent company of Tropicana, is taking an old trick and making it new again. Many news outlets are reporting today that Tropicana, the leading producer and marketer of branded fruit juices, is watering down their orange juice.
But it’s not really as bad as it sounds. Tropicana is not watering-down orange juice and calling it 100% orange juice. It will be quite clear from the labeling that the product is a blend.
According to Massimo d’Amore, the president of PepsiCo’s Global Beverages Group, some customers like orange juice that’s less thick, and others are looking for orange juice with fewer calories. “They themselves add water before drinking OJ,” d’Amore recently told BusinessWeek. “So why not add the water ourselves and charge for it?”
An example of a blend that has done well, according to the company, is Tropicana’s Trop50. It’s 42% orange juice, and includes a natural lo-cal sweetener. d’Amore told BusinessWeek that the Hispanic market would be targeted for some of the new blends that Tropicana will be introducing.
So while the ‘Watered-Down Orange Juice ’ headlines may sound alarming to shoppers, once the new products actually hit grocery shelves, it will be pretty clear what is 100% orange juice, and what’s not.